Finally, after epic delays, Illustrated Gnome News is published.
I won't go into the reasons why a book that involves publishing took so long to publish, except to say that some people were sick, and some people were busy, and in general it was one damn thing after another. But it's out now.
It's a big honking book; 115,000 words, or about 500 pages. That may have something to do with the fact that I ended up with five intermeshed plots: a romance, a mystery, saving the business, justice for the oppressed, and coming of age.
What all these plots have in common, though, is the theme of conformity and safety versus risk and authenticity. The gnomes have spent hundreds of years as essentially slaves to the dwarves, and that's developed a powerful habit of going along and keeping your head down and not being seen to make trouble or stand out from the crowd. But the gnomes are free now, and there's a new generation who are starting to challenge that habit, to ask why they can't do things, why they can't be who they know themselves to be.
Powerful forces want to put the gnomes back in their box, and reset everything back to where they were in control. Standing up to those forces - and to the expectations and prejudices of their own people - takes courage, risk, and sacrifice, and the young gnome women at the centre of Illustrated Gnome News have to fight hard for what they believe in.
I think it ends up making a compelling story. It also sets things up for the next few books, which will feature the Realm Agents, an FBI equivalent charged with protecting the realm and its people. The first, Capital Crimes, is basically finished, and I hope to bring it out before the end of 2019. I'm working on the second, Underground War, and already noodling ideas for a third, which at the moment is titled Institute Spies.
Right now, though, if you want to pick up Illustrated Gnome News, it's exclusively available on Amazon as an ebook. (There may eventually be a paperback, though given how large it is that paperback may be a bit pricey.)
(Links in this post are Amazon affiliate links.)